Last week, we published a preview of the first Presidential Debate featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, discussing a predicted lack of focus on religion. What we didn’t predict was the horrific shit-show that commenced.
Tonight’s Vice Presidential debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence should be a bit different on both fronts however. There’s a good amount of buzz suggesting that this debate will be important in swaying the Catholic vote, as both VP candidates are Catholic. But despite their membership in the same sect of Christianity, their approaches to the separation of church and state are quite different, and that may come out tonight.
Mike Pence is known for being the poster boy for “religious liberty” causes such as the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Pence signed into law last year, resulting in several high-profile boycotts of the state of Indiana. The RFRA allowed for legal discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community, solely based on their sexual orientation of gender identity.
On the flip side, Tim Kaine has repeatedly stated that even though he considers himself religious and his faith influences his personal views on social issues, he respects the separation of church and state and would not be influenced by his personal religious affiliation when dealing in matters of government. He understands that what his religion mandates isn’t necessarily what’s right for the rest of the citizens of the US.
How this debate plays out remains to be seen, but it may be the only chance we have at witnessing civility this election season.